Regional communities have always been cornerstones at Mozilla. From the days when they sprung up around localisation to today when they are involved in activities across the board, our local communities have impact on our products and mission. Mark Surman’s recent post outlined the formation and goals of the new Participation team. The key point is that we want to create a virtuous circle where our volunteer community has direct impact on our products, while at the same time getting value in the personal and professional lives. While radical participation is being setup for exploration, the good news is we have programs and structures that work today. The Community Development Team will be focusing in a couple of main areas. One is volunteer community leadership driven by changes in the Reps program. The other one is working with product/functional teams at Mozilla to better align with their priorities and identify projects to work on with impact. Participation infrastructure, aka community tools, is the glue that holds everything together.
You may have heard that Chris Beard came back (he never really left) to Mozilla as interim CEO. I have many Chris Beard stories, but here are just a couple of personal ones.
The first was back in 2006 when I first contracted for Mozilla writing an add-on. Chris was product managing the add-on and we were on an early call with others trying to wrap up and get a first version out the door. I forget the details, but the general tone of the conversation changed for me when Chris said something to the effect of “let’s ship something we are proud of and that users will love”. Up until that time I had volunteered for many years for Mozilla with a carefree attitude. This was Chris’ way of saying that what we are doing is important, and we have to do it well. After that I contracted on other projects but also put in a lot of volunteer time. It never lost the fun aspect, but I knew what we were doing was serious and making an impact.
I’m delighted to welcome Rosana Ardila as Program Manager for Mozilla Reps. Rosana has moved from the SUMO team where she has worked hard building up a strong community there. She helped build out contributor tools, a buddy program, and more to make it one of the strongest groups in Mozilla in terms of participation. Read how her former team holds her in high regard. Rosana has many skills apart from community building, including being able to speak six languages fluently which is a great asset in a global organisation like Mozilla.
The Mozilla Reps Council and module Peers met for 2 days over this weekend to solidify plans for 2014 and re-calibrate the vision and goals of Reps in general to align with our ambitious organisational goals around growing community. Traditionally billed as Council meetings, these bi-yearly sessions are designed to get the project leaders together to work on planning and strategy for the program. The program has made a huge impact, but to ensure continued impact we have to continually assess the program to make improvements and work on future strategy. The Council provides the general vision of the program and oversees day-to-day operations globally. The Peers oversee the Council and provide input and vision on the program in general. Also at the meeting were guests William Reynolds (Community Tools, including reps.mozilla.org), Konstantina Papadea (Budget and Swag), Michelle Thorne (Foundation), Marcia Knous (QA), and Rosana Ardila (SUMO).
2013 was an intense but extremely rewarding year for Mozilla. The personal highlight for me was seeing Firefox OS phones go on sale. Something that I’ve been spending much of my time on is working with our local communities to support them in their launch activities. We’ve wrapped up what we called our Wave 2 launches of Firefox OS (Wave 1 finished at the end of Summer). Read the official blog posts — Part 1 and Part 2. I want to say a few words and share some media about the Wave 2 launches in Europe, specifically Hungary, Greece, Serbia, and Italy.